Page images


charm of numbers, as the evil spirit departed from Saul when the sweet singer of Israel tuned his harp before him. We are less backward in confessing our delinquencies then than at other times. The flow of penitential sorrow is never stronger or more sincere. Humility is never deeper ; self-abasement never more prostrate. We are more disposed to close with the offers of mercy. Our gratitude is more warm and lively. Our joy more glowing; and the whole train of sentiment in our bosoms more devout and fervent. That solemn appeals to the affections, are never more impressive, cannot, we think, be more convincingly shown than by presenting our readers with the following lines on the day of judgment, verses which we think it impossible for any one to read without emotion.


trust is for ever gone by, in which immorality

, oh
ther in conduct or composition, is to be regards
a test of genius. We flatter ourselves that we al
ready see the virtuous temper of the age, impresa
on the works of our choicest authors. We lost
see more of its effects, and to witness their recity
cal action on society at large.

We know not a more delightful or improving e
ercise, than the reading of sacred poetry. Esentie
truths are thereby conveyed to the mind in a fern
best fitted to gain them welcome admission. The
adrantage of this mode of communicating religie
instruction has long been felt. It is especially be
neficial in forming the minds of the young to a taste
for religion. It is impossible, we tbink, to present
exhortations to virtue and piety, or dissuasions from
vice, in a form less repulsive than that in which
they are presented by the poet. As the manners
of one man are naturally more engaging than those
of another man; so poetry, of its own nature, is
more attractive than prose. The poet must al wayy
keep in view the first end of his art, to please ; this
necessarily excludes from his composition any thing
that might seem harsh and forbidding. Besides, he
is constantly moving the affections and raising agree-
able sentiments in the mind. These circumstances
will serve in some measure to explain the fact above
alluded to, that the application of the doctrines and
precepts of religion, is never less displeasing than
when it is made by the poet. Verse seems to carry
along with it the power of winning over the way.
ward affections of the soul, and bending them to
its will. Under its influence, the mind feels less
relactance in submitting itself to the dominion of
truths which formerly seemed revolting. The ob-
duracy of the heart is felt to give way before the

Day of judgment, day of wonders !

Hark! the trumpet's awful sound,
Louder thap a thousand thunders,

Shakes the vast creation round!
How the summons will the sinner's heart confound!
See the Judge our nature wearing,

Cloth'd in Majesty divine !
You who long for his appearing,
Then shall say,

" This God is mine!" Gracious Saviour, own me in that day for thine ! At his call, the dead awaken,

Rise to life from earth and sea;
All the powers of nature, sbaken

By his looks, prepare to flee :
Careless siuner, what will then become of thee?


Horrors past imagination

Will surprise your trembling heart, When you hear your condemnation,

“ Hence, accursed wretch, depart; Thou with Satan and his angels have thy part!"

[ocr errors]

Satan, who now tries to please you,

Lest you timely warning take,
When that word is past, wiil seize you,

Plunge you in the burning lake!
Think, poor sinner, thy eternal all's at stake.
But to those who have confessed,

Lov'd and serv'd the Lord below,
He will say,

“ Come near, ye blessed,
See the kingdom I bestow :
You for ever shall my love and glory know:"
Under sorrows and reproaches,

May this thought your courage raise !
Swiftly God's great day approaches,

Sighs shall then be chang'd to praise ;
We shall triumph when the world is in a blaze.

[ocr errors]

In presenting this little volume to the puhlic we feel encouraged by the hope of its being useful, The Hymns of the excellent and pious divines, Watts and Doddridge, are very generally taught throughout the island, and thousands are at this day experiencing the good which they are calculated to impart. The Olney Hymns, too, have been found highly beneficial in furnishing instruction to persons of matured understanding, as well as in cherishing pious and devout affections. We flatter ourselves that in general usefulness the present collection will not fall behind either of these now mentioned, or any other selection of Sacred Poetry now

in circulation, as from the number of choice pieces which it contains, we are certain that it is not inferior to any other in poetical excellence.

There is interspersed through the volume a very considerable number of small poems, the productions of our best and most recent authors. It will be found likewise to contain as great a variety of subjects and measures, as it is possible, perhaps, for any col. lection to have. And, in concluding, we judge it not improper to state what we think must be considered as no small recommendation of the work, that by far the greater proportion of the volume consists of entire poems, and several of these are now printed for the first time,

Greenock. 1828


we ful,

ht his






AWAKE my lyre,


Sacred Poetry-its superiority and influence,



ib. 3


ib. 6

The morning preceding the final consummation

of all things,

ib. 6

View of the burning lake,

ib. 7

The voice of Memory,

Rev. T. Dale,


Lines written on receiving his mother's picture, Cowper, 9

The omnipresence of the Deity,

Montgomery, 12


J. Young, 14

Lines on the death of Mr. Richards,

Anon. 15

The happy debtor,

Newton, 16

The happy man,

Cowper, 17

The perfections and providence of God, Wilson, 18

The immutability of God,

J. Young, 19

The graves of a household,

Mrs. Hemans, 20

Ode on disappointment,

H. K. White, 21

The Lord's day,

Newton, 24

Hymns for the Seasons-Spring,

Hunt, 25




10. 28


ib. 30

Comfort in affliction,

Moore, 32

Oh! had I wings like yonder bird,

Weir, 33

Destruction of the Assyrians,

Byron, 34

Jerus’lem! Jerus'lem, the spoiler bas trod, iveir, 35

The power of God,

Moore, 35

A summer evening,

Watts, 36

Of man's mortality,

Wastell, 37

A Hymn to Contentment,

Parnell, 37

Hymn, God the everlasting light of his people, P.Doddridge 40

A contemplation on Night,

Gay, 41

The Funeral, an Eclogue,

Southey, 42

Psalm, View of the heavenly bodies,

Addison, 47


R. Grant, 44

A night piece on Death,

Parnell, 49

The Beacon,

P. M. James, 52

The dying Christian to his soul,

Pope, 52


Addison, 53

Seeing we are compassed about with so grcat a

cloud of witnesses,

Weir, 54

The star of Bethlehem,

H K. White, 55.


Montgomery, 56

Looking upwards in a storm,

The last day,

Milman, 58

Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea,

Moore, 60

The evening cloud,

Wilson, 61

Montgomery, 61

The deceitfulness of the world,

Heavenly Minstrel,-

Edmeston, 65

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »